Chris Hawkes (They/Them)
Chris Hawkes (b. 1993, UK) is a queer artist and image maker whose work explores ideas of gender, aesthetics, and queer histories. They use a process of image collecting, translating, and collaging works that relate to art history and image making as a continuum. Most recently, they have been interested in allegory painting, myth, and the use of unlogic and enchantment within trans histories and communal mythmaking.
Storeroom for a Visual Essay – Abstract/Room 1
This body of work uses the fluid logic of aesthetics to join the seemingly tenuous links between allegory painting, queer bodies, and trans histories. Found text is placed like floating quotes within the ‘visual essay’ of the gallery space, alongside paintings, prints, drawings, textiles, casts, and their moulds to create the introduction to a period of practice-based research.
Imagery from both Classical and Biblical myth are refastioned, continuing the tradition of allagory paintings as depictions of epic narratives assumed already know by the veiwer. These paintings sit alongside other elements of material culture relating to spiritual practice; incence burners, an acrylic scrying mirror, copies of cult images and objects. The subject matter is balanced by the eviendence of process scatered within the gallery, creating a theatrical space of myth, poetry, beauty, rage and colour, self-aware of its own semi-fictional nature.
Collaborating with singer/musician Asher Fynn and an unknown 4th century writer Chris brings to life an ancient poem, queering it’s meaning while setting the tone for the space. Asher’s operatic vocals feed into the link between allegory painting, opera, and myth where the lack of agreed upon detail allows the creator greater freedom in it’s retelling.
These works start to look at trans histories in relation to the spiritual, moving the ‘discussion’ particularly regarding transfeminine people away from the political or medical which is so often used as part of the rights so called ‘culture war’.